Nick Frattaroli’s North End empire grows by one next month with the opening of Tony & Elaine’s (111 N. Washington St., Boston), most likely debuting a few days before Christmas. After a ramp-up in restaurants that started in 2013 with the opening of Ward 8 (90 N. Washington St.) and continued with both North Square Oyster (5 North Sq.) and Bodega Canal (57 Canal St.) in 2017, Frattaroli caps off 2018 with a nod to the neighborhood’s roots.
Frattaroli took over the Amici space on Washington Street and filled it with bentwood chairs, red booths, and tables bedecked in classic red-and-white-checkered tablecloths, calling back to the North End red-sauce Italian dining of the 1960s and 1970s — a move that serves as a tip of the hat to the restaurant’s namesakes, Frattaroli’s parents, who spent decades as restaurant servers in the neighborhood.
The decor also serves as a clue-in to Frattaroli’s overall goal with Tony & Elaine’s: to vault diners back to North End dining of that era, with a vintage charm and appeal that can draw in diners from other neighborhoods, while still having the modern, younger vibe of Frattaroli’s other restaurants.
The menu at Tony & Elaine’s features house-made pasta used in classic dishes like ravioli, chicken parmesan, and spaghetti and meatballs, for which chef Eric Buonagurio has already won a “best meatball” award at a neighborhood contest that took place over the summer.
Buonagurio is no stranger to Frattaroli’s restaurants; he’s already executive chef of the group, overseeing the menus at Bodega Canal, Ward 8, and North Square Oyster.
Tony & Elaine’s spans two floors with seating for 50 and a designated takeout area where customers can order meatball and chicken parm sandwiches, Italian subs, and more. On the beverage side, the restaurant will offer beer, wine, and cordials.
Expect to see Tony & Elaine’s up and running around December 19 or 20, if all goes as planned. The restaurant will operate seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Update, 1/28/19: Today is opening day for Tony & Elaine’s.